ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Labour reforms needed under TPP
IMPROVEMENTS on Brunei’s labour standards as part of a consistency plan under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are still in progress with the sultanate undergoing the ratification process.
Both Brunei and the US signed the Labour Consistency Plan, a bilateral instrument in accordance with Chapter 19 of the TPP, in which both countries agreed to work towards legal reforms associated with improving labour standards.
US Ambassador to Brunei Craig Allen said certain changes have been made in Brunei’s labour laws.
“I would compliment the Brunei government on the changes made but would also like to note that all of the TPP partners are reviewing and scrubbing (their own) laws. This (TPP) isn’t ratified yet and we’re in the middle of the process now,” he told The Brunei Times.
During the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, US President Barack Obama said Brunei, along with Malaysia and Vietnam, are the three ASEAN countries that have committed to “specific and concrete reforms” under the TPP.
“Change will not happen overnight. But with TPP, hundreds of millions of workers will now be covered by higher, enforceable labour standards,” he said in his address during the summit.
Obama emphasised that TPP requires acceptable work conditions such as a minimum wage, fair hours of work and workplace safety.
He did not explain details of the reforms but according to the labour consistency plan, it would require member countries to undertake legal reforms to allow mechanisms for the creation of a workers’ union, for having procedures for collective bargaining and strikes, prohibiting discrimination and enacting minimum wage laws.
The seven-page document said member countries must allow workers to anonymously report violations of labour laws, ensure the effectiveness of its mechanisms and include procedures for referring complaints to labour inspectors for follow up and documenting purposes.
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below